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Anti-social networks: Why are you failing to engage online?

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30th Mar 2014
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Despite social networking’s potential to help businesses engage with their customers and create a two-way dialogue, it seems, in practice, conversation has been far from flowing.  

Even the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, who you would assume to be social media savvy, aren’t using these channels to their best advantage. EML Wildfire has conducted an annual investigation for the last four years into the social habits of the top 50 businesses in this group. Previously, it found that while social media usage was pushing forward, is wasn’t necessarily going in the right direction.

This year, although Twitter conversation has risen, many of the other networks are still not being used in the right way – or are simply being neglected altogether. Facebook activity, for instance, has remained rather stagnant, with the number of businesses using it having stayed at 68%, and only 30% of companies making any kind of attempt at social communications. If this sounds like you, then look to HighQ or notonthehighstreet.com’s pages for Facebook inspiration – these companies came out top for EML Wildfire.

Meanwhile, Google+ is suffering from the lowest engagement levels of all social channels, with only one company using it to make an active effort at engagement. This is despite its usage growing by 62% to bring it level with Facebook.

Things do start to look up when it comes to LinkedIn, however. All of the 50 tech companies monitored have a page on this network, with 64% having an active newsfeed – up from 49% in 2012. However, only four received “full marks” for their LinkedIn use: Skyscanner, Bowman Power, Global Personals and Horizon Discovery. Those pages may be good examples to follow if you think your company is lagging in this area.

Twitter has the happiest story, with engagement levels up 50%. Half of the 50 companies now have a more personable and chatty Twitter presence, meaning they are involved in more conversational rallies. These social levels are over double 2012’s 24%. Textlocal set the Twitter standard, by using the channels to its full potential for everything from promoting competitions to offering customer service.

“No other news network has the reach of social media to connect with potential customers all over the world. But as quick as companies are applying the foundations of social media to their organisations, customer expectations are shifting even quicker,” commented Debby Penton, director at EML Wildfire.  “Not every social channel is relevant for every company, but if you’ve set the page up and are encouraging people to like or follow you, then customers will be expecting some level of engagement and conversation.  And the danger of not doing so can be that a competitor does a better job of nurturing a relationship with your prospect or customer to the detriment of your business.”

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By Lloyd Buxton
03rd Apr 2014 17:24

Some really interesting results here, and the conclusions back up our own Eptica research into social customer service. Too many companies simply establish a presence on social media, but then don’t engage – we found that 76% of companies were on Twitter, but only 53% responded to a tweet, and less than 4 in 10 (39%) provided a successful answer to a simple customer service question. You can see more on the results in this blog post http://eptica.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/whats-the-state-of-the-uk-customer-experience-8-key-findings/

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